Recently a friend asked me how I approached dating my wife many years ago, as I looked at him he added, you know how did you deal with the kids and the ex always being around to see them? This got me thinking, how many men seem to see the single mum and her children before they see the real woman inside. They see the kids and the kid's father as their main problem. Yes dating for parents is always going to involve the kids, in many cases on both sides, but it really isn't the main issue at all. Nor should it be the reason that you turn down a relationship with a beautiful woman just because she has kids.
You've got to understand that every single mother is a woman first and mum second. When you meet a woman that you think you may get on with, whether it's on a dating website, or out with friends, and then find out she has kids think about how you get on with this person first and then think about the kids. Yes the kids will be an issue that has to be dealt with, but don't get preoccupied with them, always look at this new person for what she is and how you get on first.
Your able to do this and before you know it the dating has turned into a relationship, it's now that you must deal with the kids, not before. The priority is to reassure her that you don't in any way see the children as a problem, because believe me every single mum dating again after leaving her previous relationship will be acutely worried about how men are going to view her now that she comes with 'baggage'.
Ask about the kids routines, learn to work out when it's best to see each other around the kids, do this and you'll reassure her that you realise that she has commitments, but that you are prepared to work around them. As time goes on offer to mix seeing each other with the kids around and slowly learn to get to know them and see them as new friends.
Make sure you see their dad as an opportunity, not an obstacle, after all he's a free baby sitting service there and willing to be used! Reassure him that you are in no way trying to replace, or compete with him, make sure that he knows that yes you are dating his children's mum, but you also value his input with his children. And don't get jealous about him still being around, he's around because he is the children's father and nothing else.
Whatever you do see that woman for what she is first before seeing problems that really don't exist. Dating for parents isn't about the kids, it's about normal people wanting to find love, friendship and everything in between, so make sure you don't miss out on that great woman just because you can't see past the fact that she's a single mum.